Giorgio Maria Ciaceri was a Jesuit missionary from Sicily who spent about ten years in North Africa during the mid Nineteenth century. From his Jesuit center located near Algiers, he travelled all over Algeria and arrived until Tunis where he spent the last period of his journey. His travelogue, published in 1885–86, is almost unknown to scholarly research and is a very rich source for anthropological, ethnographical, historical, social, religious and linguistic information about the countries and the cultures he visited. The present article deals with his travelogue and attempts to draw the attention to some aspects of his work and in particular to the linguistic issues that it contains.
Jesuits arrived in the land of the New Kingdom of Grande (Colombia) at the beginning of the 17th century. They founded colleges in all most important towns and began the mis-sionary service among Indians, according to the scheme of so-called ‘doctrinas’, i.e. villages inhabited by autochthons. During the years 1605-1660 they worked in a few doctrines on Altiplano in the surroundings of Bogota and Tunja and on eastern slopes of the Andes. Their service was usually very effective and carried out according to the established methodology of the missionary work. They were appealing to the following rules: systematic and regular religious education, knowledge of the local languages by missionaries, development of the educational system including study of the singing and the music, practising solemn liturgy based on solid and well equipped churches. The past experience of the work in ‘doctrinas’ was used in the second half of the 17th century during the establishment of Jesuits’ reductions in Casanare, Meta and Orinoko.